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L--- on Sunday. I hope it did me good. It was upon the abundant grace of our dear LORD JEsus. - - - - - - - - - . • oo - - - - - - - - - -
Your affectionate, &c.
Margate, July 9, 1801.
Once more I have the pleasure to address my dear -- from this place; and allow me to do it by thanking her unfeignedly for the recent marks of love and kindness I have received at her hands; the remembrance of which, is very pleasant to unworthy me. Why it is that I should be so kindly and affectionately dealt with by my friends, I know not. I am often surprised at this, but oftener far, when I reflect why it is, that the Lord inclines their hearts to act so, and why I am in any respect the recipient of so
many, altogether undeserved favours ! He does it not for our duties or deserts, but because he is a Sovereign, and manifests his mercy in doing good to the unthankful and to the unworthy.
I hope my dear -->you have not felt particularly inconvenienced, or fatigued by the trouble and disorder to which I put you and your family; especially the night before I left you.
Do let me hear from you—and that you forgive me all. We left town on Saturday morning, and reached home the same evening, though late. I had the great satisfaction of finding my dear mother and children quite well. I thought then I was crowned with loving kindness and tender mercy. What different sensations should I have experienced had any accident befallen either of my little ones ! Afflictions we know, come often and come suddenly; and though we believe they are all mercy, yet at the same time, we know they are calcu
lated to produce suffering in the flesh. Often has my foolish heart wished, that I could learn the same salutary lessons by the blessing, as by the cross, but this is not the Lord's way. Infinite wisdom reads the carnal rebellious heart of man, and devises the best means to produce the best ends; and by a little observation and experience, I think, we ourselves also, can ascertain why we are thus afflicted : at least I now speak the sentiments of my own heart, and can truly say, that since the LORD has taught me the knowledge of myself (or at least a little of that great word,) I have never had an affliction, either in my own person or in the persons of those I love as my own flesh, but when I have seriously asked myself, Wherefore doth the Almighty contend with me? I have found an answer immediately at hand, and have conscientiously accused this or the other sin, as being the cause of the Lord's displeasure: and I really think that when we
are thus convinced of the sin for which we bleed, there is only that thought, that sin was the accursed thing which put the dear Son of God to death, that will have a more powerful tendency to shew us the heinous nature of that dreadful evil. Thus far however, my own experience says, Amen; but I do not know that you will understand what I mean. Believe me yours sincerely.
Margate, Sept. 15, 1801. I have, through mercy, been much better this week than the last ; and seemed to have recruited my thoughts for the purpose I trust of getting things a little in readiness against that hour to which I look forward with earnest solicitude. Ah! if all should be well, then how shall I afresh love the LORD for
having heard my voice and my supplication. There is no absolute promise that I can find to build my faith upon, that I shall have every thing in reference to the time of my sorrow, as my nature wishes and desires, (perhaps too much,) but the word of God is positive in one respect. “Say ye to the « righteous, it shall be well with him.” Here is firm ground for trust and confidence. But then I may nevertheless suffer much, and suffer long, and yet it must be well, because God will be glorified, and my soul profited by such severe exercises ; so that, upon the whole, I have always in such a situation as I am now in, found most solid consolations, when I have been enabled to leave the measure and event of suffering with him who cannot err; and rather to be importunate with him that my patience may be proportioned to my afflictions, than to ask of him to limit them. It is always the very best when it is thus with my soul; would